Childhood best friends and business partners Julie Stott and JoAnna Baar launched their jewelry brand Honeycat Jewelry in 2013. Learn how selling with Amazon allowed them to leave their full-time jobs and focus 100% on running and growing their business.
When the Julie and JoAnna started selling in Amazon’s store in 2015, the move catapulted their sales, making Honeycat Jewelry the successful small business that it is today. Eventually, they were able to leave their full-time jobs and focus 100% on running and growing their business.
“I think that was our biggest moment,” says Julie. “That kind of sealed the deal that Honeycat was no longer just a labor of love, but something that we were able to make our full-time careers.”
Julie and JoAnna have been best friends since they met in band class in middle school. Although they were both introverted, they found a kindred spirit in each other.
According to Julie, from the moment they met, they knew they were “going to be friends for a really long time.” The pair ended up at the same high school and both studied business in college.
While in college, the friends tried their hands at selling handmade clothing and accessories. That’s when they first learned that they loved working together.
Make the business fit you…Hard work is fun when you are passionate about it.
After college, they both accepted full-time desk jobs, but Julie also started a clothing boutique. The business didn’t last very long, but it got Julie thinking: what if she created a high-quality, affordable jewelry line? She called up her best friend and the two decided to start a business together. “As a business owner, you’ll be working around the clock,” says JoAnna. “So, it’s important to work with people that you like.”
Having their own storefront with Amazon changed the trajectory of their business. “It really was Amazon that got more eyes on us, and we have to give credit to [Amazon’s stores],” says JoAnna.
3 tips from Honeycat Jewelry
1. Continue to evolve and be flexible.
Julie advises sellers to develop the ability to adapt to an ever-changing business environment. “The market that we’re in is always changing, especially with regards to social media and marketing,” she says. “Nothing is constant and nothing is guaranteed. Something that works today may not work tomorrow.”
2. Never stray from your mission and your core values.
For Julie and JoAnna, it was important for them to build a business that was creative and fun while producing an accessible, high-quality product. “It’s so important to stick to your core values and remember why you started your journey,” says JoAnna. “With every decision that comes our way, we always check in [to ensure it aligns with] these core values.”
3. Tailor your business to fit your personality.
When a new business opportunity presents itself, Julie and JoAnna make sure it matches their “work-life harmony.” “Make the business fit you, as an individual, and fit your personality,” says Julie. And as her co-founder JoAnna puts it: “Running a small business is hard work and all-consuming, so make it something you are passionate about. Hard work is fun when you are passionate about it.”